Zuckerberg Responds to 'the Cambridge Analytica Situation'

'At the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 4:28 PM CDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets with a group of entrepreneurs and innovators during a round-table discussion at Cortex Innovation Community technology hub Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser)

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you," Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Wednesday, breaking his silence on what he calls "the Cambridge Analytica situation." It was the Facebook CEO's first public statement since the scandal broke over four days earlier, the AP reports. In fact, according to Slate, the post broke the longest stretch of time Zuckerberg has gone without posting on the social media site he created. His most recent post before Wednesday was back on March 2. A statement from Zuckerberg was probably overdue after news that Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of over 50 million Facebook accounts to help the Trump campaign caused Facebook to lose nearly $50 billion from its stock price and a "delete Facebook" movement to gain popularity, CNN reports.

In his post, Zuckerberg claimed Facebook already made major changes in 2014 that would prevent a repeat of Cambridge Analytica's actions. (The personality quiz app that gathered the data used in the Cambridge Analytica incident was developed in 2013.) Those changes included not allowing apps to have access to data belonging to a user's friends. But, he added, "There's more to do, and we need to step up and do it." That includes investigating apps that had access to lots of user information prior to the changes in 2014; auditing apps with suspicious activity; tightening access to user data, such as by cutting off access to apps that haven't been used in three months; and more transparency in what apps have access to users' information. "I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I'm responsible for what happens on our platform," Zuckerberg said. "I'm serious about doing what it takes to protect our community." (Read more Facebook stories.)

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